When I came back to the states from living abroad in Japan many years ago, I was introduced to the Natural Products Industry due to some health issues I was having. The only person who had any real answers for me was a nutritionist I met while working for a Japanese Natural Products Company in Los Angeles. Through supplement and diet recommendations, he was able to help me when no one else had a game plan for me. Since then, I have been on a journey of learning as much about nutrition and health as I can. It is always changing and technology allows us to make breakthroughs all the time. A lot of the information I learned in my Masters in Human Nutrition program is constantly evolving and I make an effort to stay on top of these new discoveries. I love that about health and nutrition but it can be confusing sometimes when trying to make healthy lifestyle choices. And knowing what supplements actually work and are good quality can be even more confusing!
NOW was one of the companies I came across while working in the Natural Products Industry. In fact, they were the supplement company that was always recommended to me by our local health food store employees. When I would come in and ask questions about certain ailments and what might help, 9 out of 10 times the staff would bring me to a NOW product. I can’t make this stuff up and I told the CEO this very thing when I had a chance to meet him this past month at their #NOWWellness Influencer immersion held near Chicago.
They flew us out to Chicago and we arrived during a lightening storm. Ugh! If you’ve visited Chicago O’Hare Airport you know what I am talking about when I say it is massive and is known for delays! Luckily, we had a short stay on the runway and off we went to the Hilton Indian Lakes resort in Bloomingdale. We arrived to find some treats and two bags filled with NOW products (we have one for a giveaway as well – see below) waiting in our rooms. That night we went out to dinner at Seasons 52 with Jim Emme, CEO of NOW Health Group, Jim Ritcheske, Supplements Category Manager, John Urban, Sports Nutrition Category Manager, Tina Tews, NOW Solutions Category Manager, Dave Rosenberg, Natural Foods Category Manager, Amber Cerda, Marketing Communications Manager, and Kristy Urban, Social Media Manager.
It was a pleasure speaking to Mr. Emme about his background and the company. Mr. Emme grew up in the Midwest and has that Midwestern sensibility. Very down-to-earth and matter-of-fact. I love that about Midwesterners! He spoke about how important providing their customers with quality product is to the company and because they are a privately-held company, they don’t have to make decisions based on pleasing their stockholders. This quality control and attention-to-detail is passed down to us, the consumers. I have to say I am extremely impressed with the way the company is run and quality of supplements, foods, sports nutrition (stay tuned for a feature on getting back in shape) and essential oils offered.
NOW Solutions Essential Oils:
On Saturday morning we were treated to a yoga class from Life Time Fitness Yoga Coordinator Michelle, and taught how to make disinfecting yoga mat spray and hand scrub using their essential oils (see recipe below) from Tina Tews, their Personal Care International Sales Assistant. Ms. Tews spoke about NOW Solutions Certified Organic, 100% Pure and Essential Blends. NOW assures the identity and purity of its essentials oils using state-of-the-art testing and analysis and adheres to the strictest quality standards. Visit here for the complete NOW Essentials Oils Purity Guide. I love essential oils and plan to use them more in my day-to-day cleaning! More cleaning recipes coming up! We were then treated to a nice breakfast before heading to their 265,000 sq.foot Operations Facility.
Once there, we had to take off all our jewelry, and put on lovely hairnets, plant jacket and googles. You know we were looking good! But it is all done to keep the facility as clean as possible! After an introduction to NOW Foods and Company, we donned our cute attire and took a tour in the facility.
Everyone is required to wear hairnets, a plant jacket and googles and if men have facial hair they also put them over their face. You really get a sense of the attention to detail that goes into providing the best quality product for their consumers. NOW is one of the largest independent manufacturers of natural products in the U.S. health food store channel. The company was founded by Elwood Richard in 1968 with the goal of making healthy and quality products accessible and affordable for everyone. Forty-eight years later and still owned by the Richard family today! That is pretty amazing really! The company remains committed to their mission of providing value in products and services that empower people to lead healthier lives.
Throughout the plant tour, we were shown the various checks and balances in regards to quality control and efficiency. They spoke about how they have machines such as what is found in their Microbiology Lab that can screen raw materials and finished products for microbial and fungal contamination. What this means to the consumer is the assurance that this company didn’t take the raw materials provider word they are providing them contaminant-free materials. This machine (on the right) is quite pricey but NOW invested in one to ensure they can test all raw materials for contamination.
They can actually test the raw materials for any contaminants to the smallest degree – something that just isn’t done by many other large supplement companies. Many don’t have this technology and thus have to take the raw materials suppliers word for it that their materials are contaminant-free.
Mr. Jim Emme, CEO of NOW walked the tour with us and knew everyone’s name on the floor. I was really impressed how everyone in the company works so hard and takes the work they are doing quite seriously – but make no mistake this is a fun group of people! They just seem to have a very strong work ethic – the work ethic that America was built upon!
NOW Distribution Center:
Other areas of interest was the cleanliness and how everything is so organized. We were given a peak into their Distribution Center. They ship out hundreds of boxes a week throughout the United States and abroad with the most orders going out at the beginning of the week. That is when the health food stores usually place their orders. As you can see there is a box to fit every size order and they somehow manage to do it so efficiently.
Natural Foods Overview & Tastings:
We then went to the back kitchen area and Dave Rosenberg, Natural Foods Category Manager and Bryan Morin, Foods Marketing & Sales Specialist gave us a brief overview of the Natural Foods offered by NOW and a tasting of the various oils. Of course anything to do with yummy food held my attention and I was excited to try their gluten-free brownie mix after Bryan told me it was really tasty. They spent a lot of time getting that recipe just right and I can tell you friends, it is really yummy. Sometimes gluten-free (anything) doesn’t taste that good, but this brownie mix really delivers a moist treat! I’m sold!
NOW’s Real Food Line:
NOW’s family of food brands are non-GMO and meet a variety of consumer needs, from gluten-free to gourmet. The NOW’s Real Food line consists of high-quality pantry staples, such as dried fruit, nuts, seeds, healthy snacks, natural flour alternatives, grains, beans and more. They also offer 19 unique blends of Real Tea, functional herbal teas that contain no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or sugar, packaged in innovative no-staple bags.
Premium-Grade Cooking Oils and Spreads
Their newest line, Ellyndale Foods, offers premium-grade gourmet cooking oils and spreads perfect for emphasizing the flavors and freshness of your favorite recipes. I am such a fan of coconut and avocado oil. Avocado oil mixed with a little balsmaic vinegar with a little seasoning makes the best salad dressing! Trust me on this – you’ll want to cook everything in avocado oil now. I’ve been cooking my daily egg in it as well and prefer it over olive oil. But you be the judge! NOW offers top- quality, cold-pressed oils for all you cooking needs. The coconut butter infused oil would be great over a large popcorn.
They put together an awesome salad bar with various greens and gluten-free ancient grains, beans and nuts to take with us to the airport. This is such a great idea! Just be sure to put the dressing at the bottom of the mason jar before the salad and toppings. That way, you can mix it when you are ready to eat it.
I want to give a big shout out to BSM Media and NOW for the invitation to tour their facility and learn more about the heart and soul of this family-owned company. BSM Media Founder and CEO Maria Bailey did a great job leading the Facebook LIVE discussion with this group of moms where we spoke about natural solutions for busy families. I loved learning more about the new NOW Pets line of quality pet supplements that were specifically formulated to support optimal health and wellness for dogs and cats. Cancer is the number one killer of both cats and dogs so anything we can do as pet owners to keep them healthy is a plus! NOW Pets were formulated with the guidance of Dr. Barbara Royal, DVM, CVA, a renowed Midwestern veterinarian and pioneering expert in holistic animal care.
And a thank you to Kelly Pfeiffer, food blogger at Nosh and Nourish for providing us with a tasty recipe demo. This pineapple, mozzarella balls, tomatoes and basil is a great after-school snack.
It was great meeting all the other health and fitness bloggers as well! I know you wanted to see a picture of us in our hairnets! I think I needed a little more lipstick. That might have helped… or not?! Ha!
Good news! NOW Wellness is providing a lucky dandelion products valued at over $500.00! There is something for everyone in the family! Good Luck dandelions!
Some of the items included are:
-NOW® Sports Plant Protein Complex
-Living Now® Gluten-Free Quinoa Pastas
-NOW® Solutions XyliWhite™ Toothpaste Gel for Kids
-NOW® Eve™ Women’s Multivitamins